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Pass on the DV Expo Conference Pass

November 5th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

DV Expo 2008 produced a lot of interesting panels and topics this year for us independent producers. But I recommend just purchasing the $25 floor pass if you are an independent producer, cameraperson, editor, or VFX professional. The best sessions and networking was on the main floor.

$25 Exhibit Pass:

  • Access to Exhibit Area
  • Admission to Exhibit Floor Keynotes and Showcase

So, what do you get for the $299 Conference Pass?

  • All Conference Sessions not on the exhibit floor (I counted three that were interesting but happened at the same time as much more interesting sessions on the exhibit floor. I went to a whopping ONE session off the exhibit floor)
  • Evening Networking Events (Hint: There are NO evening networking events except ones where the $25 pass gets you into)
  • Conference bag with take home specialty items (Hint: There was NO conference bag

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Quit Being a Player, Start Being a Manager

November 5th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Independent producers in this economic client are facing some tough challenges. Much like a once storied ballplayer whose career is in twilight. What should this great player do? Become a manager!

That was the major theme from Philip Hodgetts session on the future of Web Video Business Opportunities here at the DV Expo. Philip (recently reclassified from “resident alien” to “resident” – congratulations Philip) is a prolific blogger, speaker and author on a variety of independent producer topics.

Philip had some great advice on where the market for independent producers is heading and how producers should reframe their mindset as entrepreneurs. According to phillip, our focus as content producers should be on creating business opportunities (Manager) rather than waiting for opportunities to present themselves (Player). Managers study the tape for upcoming games. Locating niche opportunities to exploit (audiences hungry for content on a specific topic).

The player just waits at the plate for the pitch: The producer calling upon an agency or enterprise to see if there was commercial opportunity (“Have any work for me?”).

The manager anticipates the pitch and puts the right leverage at the plate to create an opportunity: Create content around a niche interest, develop an audience and leverage the value (“Wait until you see what I have for you!”).

Yes, this is more difficult but it’s also more lucrative. You are cutting out the intermediaries that might suck the profitability out of your hard work. Also, you get compensated for recognizing a trend rather than waiting for someone else to ask you to act on it. Who do you think will come to come to next time?

And if you have trouble finding someone interested in your idea, you can always monetize it yourself (10 to 99 cent range). If you have chosen wisely, you have content that people want and will pay for. The “Big Hit” will continue to decline and the long tail (niche content) will continue to rise. Additionally, how and when content is consumed will diversify along with storytelling formats.

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Giving the Blog a Bone

March 11th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Tuesday at SxSW a panel regarding successful company blogs assembled to discuss best practices. The panel included Mario Sundar, Lionel Menchaca, and Kami Huyse.

The most successful blogs create value for the readers.

The least successful blogs are self serving as company marketing mouthpieces.

To create a successful blog, determine who you are trying to reach, how to reach them, and what they want from you. Your blog should fashion itself to fill that need. Dell’s primary blog purpose is to harvest good ideas from their customers. LinkedIn on the other hand, uses their blog to shorten the distance between their engineering and design teams and the customer. Both serve the customer by giving them what they want (a say in the future of their favorite products/services)

For Market7, there are three things our customers want:

1. Connect with the engineer/design teams to influence the product direction

2. Get information on how to make a better video

3. Learn the future direction of the product/service offering

As a result our blog should focus on delivering these things, perhaps with a designated person responsible for each area (ie, whenever they see a post from Seth, they know he will touch upon future direction, whenever they see a post from Shannon, they know he will talk about making a better video)

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